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New Vaccines In Thailand Expected This Week, AstraZeneca Shots In Final Approval Stages With FDA 

FDA to approve AstraZeneca vaccine

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine distribution this week. Dr. Surachoke Tangwiwat, Deputy Secretary General of the FDA, stated that all documents have already been submitted from AstraZeneca, and are now being rechecked to ensure the vaccine’s efficiency and safety.

About AstraZeneca vaccine

The vaccine is produced by AstraZeneca – a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company – in collaboration with Oxford University. Like other Covid-19 immunisations, AstraZeneca’s vaccine requires two doses to be fully effective.  

Tests show that AstraZeneca’s vaccine has a 62% – 90% efficacy rate against Covid-19, as reported by The New York Times. Some subjects showed a 90% efficacy from just half a dose of the vaccine, while others demonstrated a lower rate of 62% after receiving the full dosage – two shots.

According to the Bangkok Post, Dr. Tangwiwat said that the submitted documents containing quality details and the production process from AstraZeneca helped speed up the approval process.

The inoculation process

Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, Director General of the Ministry of Public Health’s Disease Control Department (DCD), confirmed that the DCD is more likely to roll out AstraZeneca vaccines for inoculation next month, instead of the previous plan that stipulated Sinovac.

Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong
Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong
Image credit: Bangkok Post

Apart from the vaccine changes, the vaccination process still follows the same plan by the DCD. The incoming vaccines will be divided into three phases and are prioritised to high-risks personnel and patients first.

According to Dr. Karnkawinpong, the DCD will follow up vaccinated people to record and investigate any allergic reactions or complications. He guaranteed that the DCD would enforce a detailed investigation to ensure vaccine safety should any deaths occur. 

If the cause of death remains unclear, DCD will insist on suspending distribution of the vaccine.

Read more about Covid-19 related news in Thailand here:

Featured image adapted from: Justin Tallis/AFP

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